The international community has addressed Afghanistan through
an ethnic prism. As anxiety grows about the future after international forces
leave in 2014, a trajectory needs to be established towards a post-ethnic
society--and the dispersed diaspora can play a role.
Images of women and the brutal violence against them, whether committed by
the Army, Police, Muslim Brotherhood or thugs, are commodities that sell a certain shade
of patriarchy to the people, says Zainab Magdy.
past 25 years have witnessed fundamental sociopolitical and cultural changes in
Sudan. Women have been the terrain of
many of the uneasy shifts in the country, even down to their skin, which they
are now being encouraged to bleach.
In conversations with Karima Bennoune over the past two months, Tunisian intellectual Amel Grami shares her analysis of the political crisis in Tunisia during the rule of the Ennahda party, and the strategies needed to defeat fundamentalism.
Revolutions take time. The French
Revolution was followed by years of terror and conflict before stability. Arab women
have discovered through their revolutions that they can have a voice, and this,
says Monique Villa, is the seed of hope for the future.
The interim nuclear deal between the
western powers and Iran faces significant domestic and international
challenges. But after long hostility it may prove a trust-building
stepping-stone to a larger agreement.
sites of mass protest in Cairo and stamping them with symbolic
representations of their preferred narrative of order and stability,
the military authorities are striving to relegate the revolution to the
past. Yet, these new cityscape makeovers continue to be
A new group of secular intellectuals in India argues that
the BJP’s real attitude towards women is based on a fascist communally-based
politics in which women are seen not as individuals with rights, but as bearers
of their community’s honour, to be protected or raped, depending who they are.
We need to say
“enough!” to the leadership of people who foster oligarchy and treat
Afghanistan as a playground for their selfish interests. The biggest
battlefront is the election. Whatever change may happen, if women’s
perspectives are not included, it will make no difference to the lives of
women at all.
has been locked in two key debates on the issue of peace recently. The first is
whether there should be ‘peace talks’ with the Tehreeq e Taliban Pakistan. The
second concerns Malala, the school-girl who survived the Taliban murder attack
and was a nominee for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
There is no explicit reference to abortion in
the Qur'an, and classical jurisprudence and modern-day religious scholarship
highlight the diversity of Islamic thought on this subject. Naureen Shameen asks
what the new antipathy to family planning by some of the Muslim majority countries
means for the future of abortion rights.
and secular voices in Muslim majority countries have too often been sacrificed
by the left in the west in the name of anti-imperialism and identity politics.
The authoritarian movements of the far right, which democrats of the South
oppose, must be recognized for what they are, Karima Bennoune tells Deniz Kandiyoti.
With more fundamentalists predicted to win seats in the forthcoming election, the future
is likely to see once again the use of religion as an instrument of extreme gender
based oppression in Afghanistan. Will President Karzai use his remaining days in office to cement the foundations of
The only way out of the current stalemate is launching an
inclusive reconciliation process in which all political forces admit their
responsibility for the early failure of transition and show their willingness
to move towards building a democratic state, says Rawia M.Tawfik Amer
Balchin was a founding sister of openDemocracy 50.50 and a leading contributor to our
dialogue on Gender Politics and Religion which explores the impact of the global resurgence of
religion in public life on women's human rights, and examines the possibilities for gender equality and pluralism.
For all its problems, Algeria never became an Islamic state. Like Algerian progressives in the 1990s,
Egyptian progressives now have to carve out the space to construct a credible
alternative under the shield of the new transitional process, and
simultaneously challenge the military’s human rights abuses
There was a new wave of sexual assault against
women in Tahrir Square last week, but women refused to let the assaults on their bodies silence their voices. These attacks were commensurate with the pattern of politically
motivated sexual violence that emerged, and grew, under the Muslim
Brotherhood’s reign, argues Mariz Tadros
Women can only hope for a better
future if the next generation of Afghans is taught to unlearn religious,
cultural, and gender prejudices that are instrumental in their oppression.
Education is pivotal to this vision, and it is the single attainable factor
that keeps the hope of our women alive
Will president-elect Hassan Rowhani listen to human rights activists? Will he respond to Pegah Ahangarani's simple demand that he appoints qualified, non-corrupt, competent and
accountable people to management and administration positions ? Nayereh Tohidi asks whether he will reset Iran's political course in a hopeful direction.